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How Things Might Have BeenIndividuals, Kinds, and Essential Properties$
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Penelope Mackie

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199272204

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199272204.001.0001

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The Necessity of Origin

The Necessity of Origin

(p.93) 6 The Necessity of Origin
How Things Might Have Been

Penelope Mackie (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that the intuitive appeal of Kripke’s necessity of origin thesis can be explained by seeing the thesis as the consequence of a temporally asymmetrical ‘branching model’ of de re possibilities, which, in turn, rests on two principles concerning possibility, time, and identity called ‘the assumption of open futures’ and ‘the overlap requirement’. This explanation of the necessity of origin intuition is defended against a standard objection, and compared with two other proposed explanations. It is also argued that the explanation of the intuitive appeal of the necessity of origin thesis does not justify that thesis, principally because the ultimate defensibility of the overlap requirement is doubtful. The chapter concludes by suggesting that the necessity of origin thesis advocated by Kripke and others should be rejected in favour of a weaker thesis called ‘the tenacity of origin’, that does not imply that distinctive features of an individual’s origin are among its essential properties.

Keywords:   branching model, Kripke, McGinn, necessity of origin, open future, overlap requirement, sufficiency of origin, tenacity of origin

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